Lays with Junaid Jamshed – A Public Service Message?

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Now the next step after all the hoopla is a public service message by Lays in which Junaid Jamshed is spreading the word that a few ignorant people have passed the wrong information regarding Lays, which is actually a Halal product and therefore the consumers should not fear consuming the brand.



I was just going through a few articles here and there and some people are voicing that they do not like the idea of Junaid Jamshed talking about a brand. People are angry that why the brand team is also bringing in religion as the answer and why did they choose Junaid Jamshed. It’s like a religious preacher promoting and selling brands and that is being seriously disliked by certain groups.


 In some of the forums and responses the participants spoke with so much hatred that one questions is it even worth it. It’s like if you think it’s wrong prove it, if you can’t take it easy. If you think it’s haram even when you have no facts then it’s your choice not to consume the brand. If you’re chill about it well and good because life goes on.  



Another concern by the people as per the views on the online forums and even when we talk in different groups and have discussions is that it is after all an ad so why call it a public service message.



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Similarly another blog I just checked a while ago raised the same question that is this really a public service message in the first place because as per Wikipedia the definition is as follows:



“A public service announcement (PSA) or community service announcement (CSA) is a non-commercial advertisement broadcast on radio or television, ostensibly for the public interest. PSAs are intended to modify public attitudes by raising awareness about specific issues. The most common topics of PSAs are health and safety.”



It is true that people will always have their opinions and it is hard to get an agreement. And as we all know that as and when any religious element is raised the emotions go overboard.



Frankly speaking I know people who don’t even give a damn to whatever is being said and talked about. It doesn’t really bother me much. I never stopped consuming Lays. But I wanted to know how are the people on this forum reacting. Do you even care? Did you stop eating Lays? Do you stop for a second now before buying the brand for a kid in your house? Did Junaid Jamshed appearing in this ad / public service message convince or clarified the confusion?

Writer, Blogger, Copywriter & Animal Rights Activist. MBA in Marketing Author of "Pakistani Media: The Way Things Are" and Co-author of "If Mortals Had Been Immortals and Other Short Stories"

  • Bushra Ayub

    well… whether the approach was right to clarify the reality or not is one question…. which we can leave to the company’s discretion… after all. but this is for sure that this is an endorsement rather than a public service message as it does not qualify the basic standards of it.

  • Reema Dada

    I think it was just unnecessary hype created! Yes, we tend to not look for facts/evidence ourselves and are more willing to believe what other people say! Endorsement it is, but it’ll probably work like a PSM cuz of the endorser.

  • Zaira Rahman

    Well it’s a strange mixture between an ad and public service message. It depends on the viewers how they want to take it. Either ways there is nothing wrong with it.

    May be they should have used a few other people as well besides Junaid Jamshed to give the similar msg for instance educationist like Rahat Kazmi or some other celebrity from the limited list that we did mention earlier on.

  • moazzam

    I feel that lays must have seen a drop in sales or something and there was some justification to all this action.

    It is I feel a hybrid of a public service and of an endorsement like Aamir Khan did for Coke at the time of pesticide content in coke incident and it is a brand endorsement with Junaid as far as i know from interactions with my devout religious friends a friendly face and a media spokesperson for the religious Ulemas and who better then the Ulemas to endorse a product that has been getting the boot for being Haram …… this is a time for experimentation in our media a time where limits are being tested to get a better feel of what the society can handle and what it cant. I feel it was done honestly, humbly and in good taste.

  • Navaid Abrar

    1st of all I’ve never tried Lays… i go for those “Wings” brand LOLZ :P…. 2ndly same scenario was created for KFC, but they never tried to clarify it, nor did the ppl stop buying it neither did they’re sales drop. Its all about believing in somethin I guess….. KFC zindabad! WOW MEAL my fav ;P wink..

  • Ali Saleem

    This really isn’t all that black and white is it? On the one hand, if grasping at straws, it can be argued that it is a public service message in that it is bringing to attention a product that can be consumed, in turn changing attitudes that consumption of said product is prohibited due to religious reasons. On the other hand, a case can also be made of this being a blatant brand endorsement, with JJ being paid to voice his “opinion”. This PSM/TVC tends to fall in a grey area.

    If we break it down, PepsiCo funded the production and airing of this message specifically for one of its own brands which took a hit due to the negative publicity of unfounded rumors that it wasn’t fit for consumption on legal grounds. Why was this “public service message” created and aired in the first place? To avoid the brand’s sales take a hit? To revive lagging sales for Lays? Regardless, all of this points to one thing: The message being privately funded by one company to benefit said company rather than create awareness amongst the public. Looking at it after having typed all of the above, I’d be hard-pressed to call this a “Public Service Message”.

    Regarding the use of Junaid Jamshed, while he is associated with spirituality, I wouldn’t necessarily label him as representation of any religious body or a particular religion. I don’t necessarily find his presence very controversial. After all, besides his religious preaching he is a fashion designer as well. The best of both worlds? Maybe.

  • Zaira Rahman

    Well why this public service message was created in the first place is something that only the brand team can explain in the best possible way.

    It does appear to be a public service message because in a way it’s informing consumers that Lays is not made of ingredients that aren’t allowed for consumption by Muslims.

    But the more I hear it on radio and watch the link above, the way he says a few words sound a bit funny or may be the emphasis on some words is a bit exaggerated – which also brings another factor that there are still many people who do not enjoy looking at JJ this way. Especially the younger girls and boys expressed their views on blogs and other forums as if they find his accent as too fake etc. Perhaps, they can’t take his previous singer image out of their heads as yet.

    All of a sudden I feel we have all given too much attention to a chips brand.

  • moazzam

    ok my take again
    I feel we are in a time of experimentative marketing where we are testing the limits of what we can put out and what we cant….. the Olwell ad was one example
    In another cntext i think in the Junaid Jamshed we are trying to find out if people respond well to being told by credible authorities what to and what not to believe……… the response will determine either an Olwell type response of hush hush or a free for all !!!